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The Procuracy as a Subject of Constitutional Debate: Controversial and Unresolved Issues

  • Lan Phuong PHAM (a1)

Abstract

The people’s procuracy is a transplanted Soviet-style institution in Vietnam, which currently exercises the public prosecution function along with the supervision of judicial activities. Debates about the procuracy’s role and function started as early as when the 1992 Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1992 Constitution) was drafted and they were facilitated by the judicial reform policies. In the process of revising the 1992 Constitution, heated debates on the procuracy continued. The subject of these debates included almost every fundamental aspect of the procuracy such as its institutional location, functions, duties, organization, and operation. This article reviews the constitutional debates concerning the procuracy between 2011 and 2013. It analyzes and compares the developments of the debates in this period with those that had occurred in the past, highlighting, in particular, key issues that remain unresolved. It argues that the controversy surrounding the procuracy reflects the legal and political complexities in Vietnam, especially the lack of agreement on institutional issues such as the rule of law, socialist legality, and control of powers.

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Copyright

Footnotes

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PhD Candidate and Research Assistant, Melbourne Law School, Melbourne University. I want to thank Dr Bui Ngoc Son at the National University of Singapore, Professor Pip Nicholson at Melbourne Law School, Professor John Gillespie at Monash University, and other reviewers for their very helpful suggestions and comments on earlier drafts of this article.

Footnotes

References

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1. 1959 Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (adopted 31 December 1959) [1959 Constitution], art 105; 1960 Law on the Organization of the People’s Procuracy (adopted 15 July 1960), art 1.

2. Resolution No 51/2001/QH10 on Amending and Supplementing a number of articles of the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam adopted by the National Assembly, dated 25 December 2001, art 1(23).

3. SIDEL, Mark, The Constitution of Vietnam: A Contextual Analysis (Oxford and Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing, 2009), 106 [Sidel, The Constitution of Vietnam].

4. 1992 Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (adopted 25 April 1992) [1992 Constitution].

5. JACKSON, Vicki C, “Methodological Challenges in Comparative Constitutional Law” (2010) 28(3) Penn State International Law Review 319 .

6. Significant sources include PHAM, Van Hung, ed, Quoc Hoi Va Cac Thiet Che Trong Nha Nuoc Phap Quyen Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam [The National Assembly and Other Institutions in the Socialist Law-Based State of Vietnam] (Nha xuat ban Lao dong [Labour Publishing House], 2009); CAO, Anh Do, Phan Cong, Phoi Hop Giua Cac Co Quan Trong Thuc Hien Cac Quyen Lap Phap, Hanh Phap Va Tu Phap O Viet Nam [Separation of Powers and Cooperation among the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary Bodies in Vietnam] (Nha xuat ban Chinh tri Quoc gia [National Political Publishing House], 2013); NGUYEN, Dang Dung et al, Vien Kiem Sat Nhan Dan Trong Nha Nuoc Phap Quyen [The People’s Procuracy in a Law-Based State] (Nha xuat ban Tu phap [Judicial Publishing House], 2014) [Nguyen et al, The People’s Procuracy]; DAO Tri Uc and VU Cong Giao, eds, Binh Luan Khoa Hoc Hien Phap Nuoc Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam Nam 2013 [Comments on the 2013 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam] (Nha xuat ban Lao dong – Xa hoi [Labour – Society Publishing House], 2014).

7. These commentaries are available at National Assembly, Nghị quyết sửa đổi, bổ sung Hiến pháp năm 1992 [Resolution on amending and supplementing the 1992 Constitution], Duthaoonline [Draft Online] (2 January 2013), online: Duthaoonline <http://duthaoonline.quochoi.vn/DuThao/Lists/DT_DUTHAO_NGHIQUYET/View_Detail.aspx?ItemID=32&TabIndex=2&TaiLieuID=886>.

8. Resolution No 49-NQ/TW on the Judicial Reform Strategy to 2020 adopted by the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam, dated 2 June 2005 Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

9. See e.g. SMITH, Gordon B, “The Struggle over the Procuracy” in Peter H SOLOMON Jr, ed, Reforming Justice in Russia, 1864–1996 (New York: M E Sharpe, 1997), 356 .

10. Ibid.

11. HOLMES, Stephen, “The Procuracy and Its Problems: Introduction” (1999) 8 East European Constitutional Review 76 at 77 .

12. See e.g. LI, Yuwen, The Judicial System and Reform in Post-Mao China: Stumbling Towards Justice (Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate, 2014) at 6063 .

13. Jackson, supra note 5 at 324–325.

14. Ibid, but note that Jackson also suggested that these characteristics may not be distinctive about constitutional law.

15. Ibid.

16. Ibid.

17. Nha nuoc phap quyen was introduced into Party discourse in the Seventh Party Congress in 1991. However, as shown in Part IV, its true meaning remains controversial.

18. Resolution No 51, supra note 2, art 1(2).

19. Phap che xa hoi chu nghia is a set of organizational principles imported from the Soviet Union officially endorsed for the first time at the Third Party Congress in 1960.

20. “Phan hieu truong Dao tao boi duong Nghiep vu kiem sat tai thanh pho Ho Chi Minh [Procuratorial Profession Training and Reinforcing School in Ho Chi Minh City]”, in Giao Trinh Nghiep Vu Kiem Sat [Procutorial Profession Training Textbook] (Phan hieu truong Dao tao boi duong Nghiep vu kiem sat tai thanh pho Ho Chi Minh [Procuratorial Profession Training and Reinforcing School in Ho Chi Minh City], 2013) at 5.

21. Decree 256/TTg on Duties and Organization of the Prosecution Office (adopted 1 July 1959) and Decree 321/TTg on the Establishment of the Prosecution Office at Appellate level and other levels (adopted 2 July 1959).

22. Ibid.

23. According to Lenin, the law must be uniform and function of procurators is “to see that the law is really uniformly interpreted throughout the Republic, notwithstanding differences in local conditions, and in spite of all local influences”. LENIN, V I, “‘Dual’ Subordination and Legality” (20 May 1922), online: Marxists.org <https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1920/may/20.htm>.

24. 1960 Law on the Organization of the People’s Procuracy, supra note 1, art 2.

25. The prokuratura was a Soviet-style organ which was adopted in all Soviet bloc countries after World War II. In fact, the origin of the Russian Prokuratura dates back to the era of Peter the Great, who in 1722 established the prokuratura in order to have an efficient control organ, “an eye of the Tsar”, to supervise central and local administrative authorities. The prokuratura of this type was replaced in 1864 by a new institution which followed the French model of the time and had prosecutorial tasks only. The Soviet prokuratura established in 1922 was a return to the old tradition prior to 1864 with the general supervision of legality resumed. See BERMAN, Harold J, Justice in the U.S.S.R.: An Interpretation of the Soviet Law, rev ed (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963) 240241 .; SMITH, Gordon B, The Soviet Procuracy and the Supervision of Administration (Winchester, MA: Sijthoff and Noordhoff, 1978) 48 .

26. 1959 Constitution, supra note 1, art 105; 1960 Law on the Organization of the People’s Procuracy, supra note 1, art 1.

27. Ibid, art 3.

28. Ibid, art 18.

29. Ibid, art 3.

30. 1980 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (adopted 19 December 1980), art 138.

31. LE, Dan Khiet, “Qua Trinh Hinh Thanh, Phat Trien Che Dinh Vien Kiem Sat Nhan Dan Qua Cac Ban Hien Phap Nuoc Ta Va Su Can Thiet Ke Thua Trong Su Nghiep Doi Moi [The Establishment and Development of the People’s Procuracy Regulations in the Constitutions of Our Country and the Need to Inherit in the Innovation Process]” (2012) 13 Tap chi Kiem sat [Procuratorial Journal] 54 at 55 .

32. 1981 Law on the Organization of the People’s Procuracy (adopted 4 July 1981), art 3.

33. Ibid.

34. 1992 Law on the Organization of the People’s Procuracy (adopted 8 October 1992), art 3(6).

35. Sidel, The Constitution of Vietnam, supra note 3; TRUONG, Dac Linh, “Mot So Y Kien Ve Doi Moi to Chuc Vien Kiem Sat Trong Chien Luoc Cai Cach Tu Phap O Nuoc Ta Hien Nay [Some Ideas on Reforming the Procuracy in the Current Judicial Reform in Our Country]” (2008) (14 & 16) Tap chi Kiem sat [Procuratorial Journal] 26 at 35 and 106 .

36. Sidel, The Constitution of Vietnam, supra note 3 at 106.

37. SIDEL, Mark, Law and Society in Vietnam (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008) 27 [Sidel, Law and Society in Vietnam]; Truong, supra note 35 at 36.

38. Resolution No 51, supra note 2, art 1(23).

39. Report No 310/UBTVQH on some amendments to the 1992 Constitution by the Standing Committee of the National Assembly to the National Assembly, dated 18 May 2011, Part V.2.

40. Sidel, Law and Society in Vietnam, supra note 37 at 27.

41. Report No 310/UBTVQH, supra note 39, Part V.2.

42. Ibid, Part V.2

43. See Resolution No 49, supra note 8, Preamble. Note that the UNDP’s Report in 2004 shows that the level of people’s confidence in the procuracy is quite low. UNDP, Access to Justice in Vietnam – Survey from a People’s Perspective (2004), online: UNDP <http://www.vn.undp.org/content/vietnam/en/home/library/democratic_governance/access-to-justice-in-viet-nam---survey-from-a-peoples-perspectiv0.html>.

44. Resolution 49, supra note 8, s II 2.2.

45. See e.g. TRAN, Dai Thang, “Co Nen Chuyen Doi Vien Kiem Sat Thanh Vien Cong To? [Should the Procuracy Be Transformed into the Prosecution Office?]” (2006) Tap chi Nghien cuu lap phap dien tu [Legislative Research Journal] , online: Nghiên cứu lập pháp <http://www.nclp.org.vn/nha_nuoc_va_phap_luat/co-nen-chuyen-111oi-vien-kiem-sat-thanh-vien-cong-to/?searchterm=>; DO, Van Duong, “Co quan thuc hanh quyen cong to trong cai cach tu phap o nuoc ta hien nay [The Procuratorial Organ in Judicial Reform in Our Nation Today]” (2006) 7 (79) Tap chi Nghien cuu lap phap [Legislative Research Journal] 10 .

46. BUI, Ngoc Son, “Vien Canh Vien Kiem Sat O Viet Nam [The Future of the Procuracy of Vietnam]” (2009) 20(157) Tap chi Nghien cuu lap phap [Legislative Research Journal] 20 . See also Cao, supra note 6 at 201–201.

47. Ibid.

48. Ibid. See also ODA, Hiroshi, “Procuracy and the Regular Courts as Enforcers of the Constitutional Rule of Law: The Experience of East Asian States” (1986) 61 Tulane Law Review 1339 at 13551362 on the comparison between socialist legality and rule of law.

49. Bui, supra note 46.

50. See e.g. THAI, Vinh Thang, “Vien Cong to Thay the Vien Kiem Sat Nhan Dan Se Duoc to Chuc Va Hoat Dong Nhu the Nao? [How the Prosecution Office that Replaces the Procuracy Is Organized and Operated?]” (2008) (2) Tap chi Luat hoc [Jurisprudence Journal] 37 at 44 .

51. Cao, supra note 6 at 202.

52. See e.g. NGUYEN, Hung Quang, “Lawyers and Prosecutors under Legal Reform in Vietnam: The Problem of Equality” in Stéphanie BALME & Mark SIDEL, eds, Vietnam’s New Order: International Perspectives on the State and Reform in Vietnam (New York and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) 162 .

53. Ibid.

54. LE, Huu The, “To Chuc Bo May Va Chuc Nang, Nhiem Vu Cua Vien Kiem Sat Trong Tien Trinh Cai Cach Tu Phap [Organization and Functions, Duties of the Procuracy in Judicial Reform Process]” (2008) (14&16) Tap chi Kiem sat [Procuratorial Journal] 4 [Le, “Organization and Functions”]. Contra Sidel, The Constitution of Vietnam, supra note 3 at 27.

55. Le, “Organization and Functions”, supra note 54 at 4.

56. See e.g. NGUYEN, Minh Duc, “Ve Chuc Nang, Nhiem Vu Cua Vien Kiem Sat Theo Tinh Than Cai Cach Tu Phap [About the Functions and Duties of the Procuracy According to Judicial Reform Strategy]” (2008) (14&16) Tap chi Kiem sat [Procuratorial Journal] 50 at 53 ; NGUYEN, Thai Phuc, “Vien Kiem Sat Hay Vien Cong To? [Procuracy or Prosecution Office?]” (11 December 2008), online: Truong Dai Hoc Luat Tp. Ho Chi Minh [Ho Chi Minh City Law University] <http://www.hcmulaw.edu.vn/hcmulaw/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=284:vkshvct&catid=108:ctc20072&Itemid=110>.

57. See e.g. DINH, Van Que, “Vien kiem sat can chuyen thanh Vien cong to [The procuracy should be transformed into the prosecution office]” Bao Phap luat thanh pho Ho Chi Minh [Ho Chi Minh City Law Newspaper] (17 April 2012), online: Duthaoonline <http://duthaoonline.quochoi.vn/DuThao/Lists/DT_DUTHAO_NGHIQUYET/View_Detail.aspx?ItemID=32&TabIndex=5&YKienID=232>.

58. Petition 72 was a highly controversial petition regarding the draft new constitution prepared by the Constitutional Amendment Committee introduced by a group of 72 senior scholars of the country from different fields. For more detail about Petition 72 and its effect see e.g. BUI Ngoc Son, “Petititon 72: The Struggle for Constitutional Reforms in Vietnam” (28 March 2013), online: I-CONnect <http://www.iconnectblog.com/2013/03/petition-72-the-struggle-for-constitutional-reforms-in-vietnam>.

59. GILLESPIE, John & CHEN, Albert H Y, eds, Legal Reforms in China and Vietnam: A Comparison of Asian Communist Regimes (New York: Routledge, 2010) 78 .

60. See e.g. NGUYEN, Thai Phuc, “Chuc Nang, Nhiem Vu Cua Vien Kiem Sat Nhan Dan Va Nhung Van De Dat Ra Doi Voi Viec Sua Doi, Bo Sung Hien Phap Nam 1992 [Functions and Duties of the People’s Procuracies and the Issues to Be Considered in the Process of Revising the 1992 Constitution]” (2012) (13) Tap chi Kiem sat [Procuratorial Journal] 13 [Nguyen, “Functions and Duties”]; LE, Huu The, “Mot So Van De Sua Doi, Bo Sung Cac Quy Dinh Ve Vien Kiem Sat Trong Hien Phap Nam 1992 [Some Issues on Amending the Provisions About the Procuracy in the 1992 Constitution]” (2012) 1 Tap chi Kiem sat [Procuratorial Journal] 21 ; LE, Thanh Duong, “Mot So Van De Ve Chuc Nang, Nhiem Vu Cua Vien Kiem Sat Nhan Dan Trong Bo May Nha Nuoc Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam Trong Tien Trinh Sua Doi Hien Phap Nam 1992 [Some Issues About the Functions, Duties of the People’s Procuracy in the State Machinery of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the Process of Revising the Constitution 1992]” (2012) (13) Tap chi Kiem sat [Procuratorial Journal] 34 at 3536 [Le, “Some Issues”].

61. LE, Huu The, “Sua Doi, Bo Sung Che dinh Vien Kiem Sat Trong Hien Phap Nam 1992 [Amending the Provisions About the Procuracy in the 1992 Constitution]” (2012) 5 Tap chi Kiem sat [Procuratorial Journal] 15 at 1516 [Le, “Amending the Provisions”].

62. See e.g. Nguyen, “Functions and Duties”, supra note 60.

63. Le “Amending the Provisions”, supra note 61at 17.

64. See e.g. NGUYEN, Hoa Binh, “Hoan thien che dinh Vien kiem sat nhan dan trong Hien phap [Improving the provisions on the procuracy in the Constitution]”, online: Truong Dai Hoc Kiem Sat Ha Noi [Procuratorial University] <http://tks.edu.vn/thong-tin-khoa-hoc/chi-tiet/119/462>.

65. Ibid.

66. Ibid.

67. LE, Van Cam, “Cac quy pham hien dinh ve he thong Vien kiem sat nhan dan trong xay dung nha nuoc phap quyen [Constitutional provisions on the people’s procuracy in building the state governed by the rule of law]” (2012) Tan Xuan Tap chi Kiem sat [Procuratorial Journal] 9 at 1213 ; See also NGUYEN, Van Quang, “Vien Kiem Sat Voi Hai Chuc Nang Thuc Hanh Quyen Cong to Va Kiem Sat Hoat Dong Tu Phap La Su Lua Chon Thich Hop Trong Qua Trinh Xay Dung Nha Nuoc Phap Quyen Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam [The Procuracy with the Functions of Exercising Public Prosecution and Supervising Judicial Activities Is an Appropriate Choice in the Process of Building the Law-Based Socialist Republic of Vietnam]” (2012) (13) Tap chi Kiem sat [Prosecutorial Journal] 47 .

68. Report No 27/Bc-Vkstc-V8 Summarizing the Commentaries on the Draft Amendments to the 1992 Constitution within the Procuracy System, adopted by the Supreme People’s Procuracy, dated 22 March 2013, Part III, on Chapter VIII.

69. Ibid.

70. Report No.13/Bc-Tandtc Summarizing the Commentaries on the Draft Amendments to the 1992 Constitution, adopted by the Supreme People’s Court, dated 29 March 2013, Part III.9.

71. Report No.135/Bc-Cp Summarizing the Commentaries on the Draft Amendments to the 1992 Constitution, adopted by the Government of Vietnam, dated 5 April 2012, Part II, on Chapter VIII.

72. Ibid.

73. Ibid.

74. Ibid.

75. Ibid.

76. See e.g. LE, Huu The, DO, Van Duong and NGUYEN, Thi Thuy, eds, Nhung Van De Ly Luan Va Thuc Tien Cap Bach Cua Viec Doi Moi Thu Tuc to Tung Hinh Su Dap Ung Yeu Cau Cai Cach Tu Phap [Urgent Theoretical and Practical Issues in Reforming Criminal Procedure to Meet the Requirements of Judicial Reform] (Nha xuat ban Chinh tri Quoc gia [National Political Publishing House], 2013), 155161 .

77. Ibid.

78. See e.g. Nguyen et al, The People’s Procuracy, supra note 6 at 387.

79. Report No 13, supra note 70.

80. See e.g. DAO, Tri Uc, “Che Dinh Vien Kiem Sat Nhan Dan Trong Hien Phap Viet Nam [The Procuracy Institution in Vietnam’s Constitution]” (2012) 13 Tap chi Kiem sat [Procuratorial Journal] 11 ; PHAM, Hong Hai, “Ban Ve Chuc Nang Kiem Sat Hoat Dong Tu Phap Cua Vien Kiem Sat Nhan Dan [A Discourse on the Supervisory Role over Judicial Activities of the People’s Procuracies]” (9 July 2011), online: Pham Hong Hai & Associates <http://www.phamhonghai.vn/Ban-ve-chuc-nang-kiem-sat-hoat-dong-tu-phap-cua-Vien-Kiem-Sat-Nhan-Dan-newsview.aspx?cate=248&id=267>.

81. See e.g. TRAN, Dinh Nha, “Mot So Van De Ve Quyen Tu Phap, Hoat Dong Tu Phap, Co Quan Tu Phap, Kiem Sat Hoat Dong Tu Phap [Some Issues on Judicial Power, Judicial Activities, Judicial Organs, Supervision over Judicial Activities]”, online: Truong Dai Hoc Kiem Sat Ha Noi [Procuratorial University] <http://www.tks.edu.vn/portal/detailtks/6756_67_61_Mot-so-van-de-ve-quyen-tu-phap,-hoat-dong-tu-phap,-co-quan-tu-phap,-kiem-sat-hoat-dong-tu-phap.html>.

82. TRAN, Dinh Nha, “Mot so van de ve quyen tu phap, hoat dong tu phap, co quan tu phap, kiem sat hoat dong tu phap [Some issues on judicial power, judicial activities, judicial body, supervision over judicial activities]” (2013) 16 Tap chi Nghien cuu lap phap [Journal of Legislative Study] 12 ; TRAN, Quang Huy, “Bao Ve Cong Ly, Bao Ve Quyen Con Nguoi, Quyen Cong Dan La Nhiem Vu Hang Dau Cua Toa an [Protecting Justice, Human Rights and Citizens’ Rights Is the First Priority of the Court]” Công lý [Justice] (14 March 2014), online: Công lý <http://congly.com.vn/phap-dinh/bao-ve-cong-ly-bao-ve-quyen-con-nguoi-quyen-cong-dan-la-nhiem-vu-hang-dau-cua-toa-an-43118.html>.

83. Ibid.

84. Report No 27, supra note 68.

85. Ibid.

86. Report No 13, supra note 70.

87. 1992 Constitution, supra note 4, art 137.

88. Drafting Committee of the Amendments to the 1992 Constitution, “To trinh ve Du thao sua doi Hien phap nam 1992 [Report explaining the Draft Amendments to the 1992 Constitution]”, Part II section 6.4 Duthaoonline [Draft Online] (5 January 2013), online: Duthaoonline <http://duthaoonline.quochoi.vn/DuThao/Lists/DT_DUTHAO_NGHIQUYET/View_Detail.aspx?ItemID=32>.

89. Ibid.

90. DUONG, Thanh BieuTien Si Duong Thanh Bieu Tra Loi Phong Van Tap Chi Kiem Sat Ve Mot So Noi Dung Lien Quan Den Che Dinh Vien Kiem Sat Nhan Dan Trong Hien Phap Nam 1992 [Dr Nguyen Thanh Bieu’s Responses to the Interviews by the Procuratorial Journal on Some Issues Relating to the Institution of the People’s Procuracy in the Constitution 1992]” (2012) 5 Tap chi Kiem sat [Prosecutorial Journal] 19 at 23 .

91. Ibid.

92. Ibid.

93. Nguyen, “Improving the provisions”, supra note 64.

94. 1992 Constitution, supra note 4, art 126.

95. The most significant writings on this topic until now are only some articles written by officials of the procuracy. See e.g. NGUYEN, Tien Son, “Quyen Con Nguoi, Quyen Va Nghia Vu Co Ban Cua Cong Dan Theo Hien Phap Nam 2013 Va Co Che Thuc Hien Thong Qua Cac Quy Dinh Ve to Tung [Human Rights, Citizens’ Rights and Basic Duties According to the Constitution 2013 and the Implementation Mechanisms through the Procedural Regulations]” in Bo Tu phap, Vien Khoa hoc phap ly [Ministry of Justice, Legal Science Institute], Quyen Con Nguoi Trong Hien Phap Nam 2013 – Quan Diem Moi, Cach Tiep Can Moi Va Cac Quy Dinh Moi [Human Rights in the Constitution 2013 – New View, New Approach, New Provisions] (Nha xuat ban Chinh tri quoc gia [National Political Publishing House], 2014) 203 ; PHAM, Manh Hung, “Bao Ve Quyen Con Nguoi Qua Hoat Dong Thuc Hanh Quyen Cong to Va Kiem Sat Tuan Theo Phap Luat Trong to Tung Hinh Su Cua Vien Kiem Sat [Human Rights Protection through the People’s Procuracy’s Performance of Prosecutorial Function and Supervision of Law Observance in Criminal Proceedings]” (2011) 21 Tap chi Kiem sat [Procuratorial Journal] 11 .

96. Conclusion 79-KL/TW on reforming the organisation and operation of the People’s Court, People’s Procuracy and Investigation Body, adopted by the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam, dated 28 July 2010.

97. NICHOLSON, Penelope (Pip), “Access to justice in Vietnam: State supply – private distrust” in Gillespie & Chen, Legal Reforms in China and Vietnam, supra note 59 at 188 .

98. Holmes, supra note 11 at 77–78.

99. LE, Dan Khiet, “Qua Trinh Hinh Thanh, Phat Trien Che Dinh Vien Kiem Sat Nhan Dan Qua Cac Ban Hien Phap Nuoc Ta Va Su Can Thiet Ke Thua Trong Su Nghiep Doi Moi [The Establishment and Development Process of the People’s Procuracy Regulations in the Constitutions of Our Country and the Need to Inherit in the Innovation Process]” (2012) (13) Tap chi Kiem sat [Prosecutorial Journal] 54 ; Le, “Some Issues”, supra note 60 at 34–35.

100. 2013 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (adopted 28 November 2013), art 2 [2013 Constitution].

101. See different views presented in VU, Cong Giao, “Tiep can cong ly va cac nguyen ly cua nha nuoc phap quyen [Access to Justice and Principles of Rule of Law State]” (2009) (25) Tap chi Khoa hoc Dai hoc Quoc gia Ha Noi, Luat hoc [Science Journal, Law – National University in Hanoi] 188 at 191192 ; LE, Van Cam, He Thong Tu Phap Hinh Su Trong Giai Doan Xay Dung Nha Nuoc Phap Quyen [Criminal Judicial System in the Process of Building a Law-Based State] (Nha xuat ban Dai hoc Quoc gia Ha Noi [National University in Hanoi Publishing House], 2009), 3244 ; GILLESPIE, John Stanley, Transplanting Commercial Law Reform: Developing A ‘Rule of Law’ in Vietnam (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2006), 89 .

102. Gillespie once suggested that a compromise has emerged within the party leadership that confines nha nuoc phap quyen doctrines to commercial transactions and civil relationships while socialist legality continues to govern civil and human rights. See GILLESPIE, John, “The Juridification of Cause Advocacy in Socialist Asia: Vietnam as a Case Study” (2013) 31 Wisconsin International Law Journal 672 .

103. The drafts and reports by the Drafting Committee are available at the website of the National Assembly. See National Assembly, supra note 7.

104. 2013 Constitution, supra note 100, chapter VIII.

105. Ibid, art 102.

106. Ibid, art 14.

107. Ibid, art 107.3.

108. 1992 Constitution, supra note 4, art 126.

109. PEERENBOOM, Randall, “Varieties of rule of law: an introduction and provisional conclusion” in Randall PEERENBOOM, ed, Asian Discourses of Rule of Law: Theories and implementation of rule of law in twelve Asian countries, France, and the U.S. (London: Routledge Curzon, 2004), 15 .

110. 2014 Law on the Organization of the Procuracy (adopted 24 November 2014), art 3.

111. Ibid, art 4.

112. 2015 Criminal Procedure Code (adopted 27 November 2015); 2015 Civil Procedure Code (adopted 25 November 2015).

113. Holmes, supra note 11 at 77.

* PhD Candidate and Research Assistant, Melbourne Law School, Melbourne University. I want to thank Dr Bui Ngoc Son at the National University of Singapore, Professor Pip Nicholson at Melbourne Law School, Professor John Gillespie at Monash University, and other reviewers for their very helpful suggestions and comments on earlier drafts of this article.

The Procuracy as a Subject of Constitutional Debate: Controversial and Unresolved Issues

  • Lan Phuong PHAM (a1)

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